FAKE NEWS | To Combat Narcissism, Universities Introduce Ego-Destroying Cats

By Shaun Tan

By Shaun Tan

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Staff Writer


UNITED STATES – Concerned at the rise of narcissism on their campuses, universities across the country are now bringing in ego-destroying cats.


“We already have a therapy dog, Jozy, to help students cope with stress, anxiety, and depression,” said Marissa May, librarian at Yale Law School. “But it’s become clear that many students here suffer from the opposite problem.”


And so, a month ago, the library introduced Meh, a three-old tabby, who has been a hit with students ever since.


“I come here sometimes when I’m feeling too up-myself,” said James St Clair, 26, who is in his final year at the law school. “I sit down in the room with Meh and tell him about my upcoming Supreme Court clerkship and how I made Editor-in-Chief of the Law Journal, but he just looks at me like he isn’t the slightest bit impressed. ‘What do I care?’ he seems to be saying. ‘All you humans only exist to serve me.’ Helped put things into perspective.”


Although sessions with Meh are limited to 20 minutes per person, the waiting list is already two weeks long, with dozens of students every day requesting a session or being signed-up for one by friends and classmates.


“A lot of people here need it!” insisted Sally Cho, 21, an undergraduate.


Even some professors are getting in on it. Ellen Hyde, a Sterling Professor of History at Yale (the university’s highest academic rank) and a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner whose seminars are always heavily oversubscribed, says she finds Meh’s bored and aloof demeanor a refreshing change from the usual sycophancy of her students.


“The wonderful thing about cats is that they don’t care how rich or smart or good-looking you are,” Hyde said. “They don’t care about your MacArthur Genius Grant or how many Pulitzers you’ve won – they’re indifferent to you all the same.


“In fact,” she said, after a short pause, “every time I look into Meh’s callous green eyes I get the feeling that, if I was somehow shrunk to the size of a mouse, he’d disembowel me just to amuse himself.”


Ego-destroying felines have also proven popular at several other universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and Duke.


“I can see a change in him,” said Debayan Gupta, 20, a sophomore at Harvard who signed up his roommate, Joel Vayner, for a session with their library’s new Sphynx cat, Catty, last week.


“Joel is easily the douchiest person I know. He gives out his own business cards and wouldn’t shut up about his Thiel Fellowship and how his startup is going to change the world and his constant ‘hustling.’ But after a session with Catty he seemed a lot more unsure of himself. Like a normal person.”


But what is it about cats that make them so apt for this purpose?


“Cats aren’t like dogs,” explained Pamela Welch, librarian at Stanford’s Cecil H. Green Library. “Cats make you work for their affection – and then dole it out in measly little portions.”


Courtney Richardson, 19, a student at Stanford who has 10 million Instagram followers and is widely regarded as one of the hottest girls on campus, agrees.


“It’s so nice to be with someone who isn’t trying to kiss my beautiful ass all the time,” she said of Prissy, the Siamese cat the library procured last week, who Richardson said actually yawned when she tried to show her some pictures of her summer in Ibiza.


“You have to put in a lot of effort to get even the slightest bit of interest from her,” Richardson related, “and even then you get the impression she doesn’t really give a shit about you.”


She shrugged. “But I suppose I could sometimes do with being taken down a peg or two.”

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